A Note Regarding Game Credits

  • Publish Date: March 28, 2011
  • Comments: ↓ 6 user comments

Why we turned off career scores for people in our game credits

Over the last week or so, there has been an enthusiastic discussion in the gaming press and social media about how the Metacritic team collects and displays credits and scores for individual contributors to video games. I want to put our process in context, provide some history, and explain where we’ll be going in the future.

As part of our relaunch of Metacritic in August of last year, one of our goals was to make the site much more dynamic and to allow our users to discover new products by exploring other titles by the creative teams behind the movies, games, TV shows, and albums our users enjoy.

In our movies section, for example, we wanted our users to be able to click on an actor, a director, or writer and view a page dedicated to that individual. On that page, a user can currently view all movies in the Metacritic database that the individual in question starred in, directed, or has written, along with the individual movies’ Metascores, and an overall “career score.” This career score is not an independent evaluation (or an aggregation of reviews of) the individual person in question – it’s a simple average of all the individual Metascores assigned to those movies the individual worked on. We license our movie credit database from our partner IMDb.

Similarly, in our games section, we encourage our users to click on the publisher or developer (development company) of a game they enjoy to learn more about other games those companies have produced, the Metascores of those games, and the companies’ overall career scores.

In addition to creating dedicated pages for corporate publishers and developers, on a given game’s “Details & Credits” page, Metacritic displays those individual people who contributed to the games in our database, including designers, programmers, producers, voice actors, and artists. In turn, we have produced dedicated pages for those individuals featuring their games and associated Metascores, and, until today, their individual career scores.

Although our credits database (which is powered by our sister site GameFAQs) is growing, as our users’ feedback has indicated, it is a work in progress and is not nearly as comprehensive as it needs to be to accurately provide a career score for these individuals. As such, we have removed that career score from the pages dedicated to creative individuals behind games on Metacritic. We are still very much committed to building a credits database, and welcome your participation in that process. You can submit information through our sister site GameFAQs here and submit any profile corrections or adjustments here.

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Comments (6)

  • Mad  

    You will be stopped in general for providing your useless surface. Someone with 3 times the money you spend is coming to take away your power. A much better site. Everything has an end, you definitely do.

  • Megalo  

    Career scores is all about accountability. Accountability, especially when it's done by a third party, is something we could use a lot more of in our society. Granted, the career score has been in its infancy and maybe it shouldn't have been deployed yet it's a big step in the right direction. I'm glad it's being worked on today, I can only imagine how thorough it will be in 5 years.

  • Lobo  

    You're missing the point. The issue is not the accuracy of the scores (although that is an issue), it's the idea that an individual will be branded with the outright score that a project gets, when that project was made with potentially hundreds of different people, with different opinions on the direction the project should have taken.

    Equally, a single score doesn't account for excellence in individual departments. Tron Legacy was nominated for an Oscar in sound editing, yet those sound editing guys are still going to have their metascores affected by that movie's 49 Metascore.

    You could say that this is just a bit of fun, but publishers already use Metacritic ratings to make business decisions about projects, and it can kill a studio if their last game didn't get a high enough rating on Metacritic. You could fairly argue that that studio should have made a better game, but this isn't the case with individuals for all the reasons I stated above.

    I guess I fear a world in which employers who don't know any better, will use these ratings as part of their hiring process, and a talented individual could find it hard to get work because of the poor decisions of his past co-workers.

  • SteveMeister  

    Good news. I say never add the career score. Leave it as a simple list. A game's review score says nothing about the quality of an individual's contributions to the game.

  • Tom  

    Good.

    You had people who've worked on 100 games over a 25 year career being scored on a single one of them.

  • Kedhrin  

    Aww man and here i was hoping I could see how much I was rated...

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